Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) presented the Seventh Annual TRWD Flyfest Saturday, March 12 in and along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River near the Acme Brick Headquarters. From beginners to anglers with expert fly fishing skills, TRWD Flyfest delivered a day full of family-friendly fun for everyone. It was a great way to kick off springtime on the river!
To create the best angling experience, TRWD released 1,800 lbs. of rainbow trout in the festival location in addition to the nearly 3,000 native fish that are released annually. The festival provided an area for the Orvis Big Trout Contest as well as designated areas for open fly fishing and open bait fishing. The public is encouraged to go out and fish the Trinity after the stockings and any time of the year to take advantage of this wonderful recreational asset.
To complement the river activities, presentations from experts were given in the Acme Brick Building throughout the day. Presentations covered topics like Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country, Fly Fishing for Stocked Trout, Streamer Tips & Tactics and A Beginners Guide to Fly Fishing the Trinity River. Frank Smethurst, Fly Fishing pro and TV personality returned once again with a fun and engaging presentation on “Exploring the Texas Coast”. Nearly 300 people attended the various presentations throughout the day.
For those that wanted a hands-on experience, casting classes and Coffee & Caddis fly tying lessons were available. Casting classes focused on various things including beginner classes and casting critical skills. Experts from all over the state provided fly tying classes using a camera and projector offering an up-close look at the process to nearly 250 individuals eager to learn the art of fly tying. In addition to featured speakers, festival-goers could come and go and mingle around the room for one on one time with the different experts on various fly tying patterns
Stefon Rishel, Partner of the Trident Restaurant Group, provided cooking demonstrations throughout the day. His team showed the crowd how to make Ruby Trout Ceviche and Smoked Trout Dip.
Besides enjoying the great weather, the festival also included food, wine tastings from local establishments such as Lost Oak Winery and Cowtown Winery and craft beer. In line with the seafood theme, Arcadia Parish Crawfish was onsite serving up mudbugs. Gepetto’s Pizza Truck and Red’s Bar B Que also served the hungry Flyfest crowd. Festival-goers were also reeled in by Fort Worth’s Chattahoochee who played a set of everyone’s favorite tunes throughout the day.
While parents enjoyed a glass of wine or craft beer, the kids were all smiles while participating in free activities like face painting, a stocked kid fishing tank and rock climbing wall.
We can’t forget the vendors who came out to promote and support fly fishing, conservation, and other outdoor programs. Among other great vendors with causes, Texas Parks and Wildlife joined the festival with their fishery management and “Take me Fishing” booths. Additionally, Tarrant Regional Water District brought their Watershed Experience Trailer. Other vendors on site included: Orvis, Coffee & Caddis, Fatties on the Fly, Fort Worth Fly Fishers, Texas Council of Fly Fishers International, Laughingstock Fly Fishing, Good Fly, Donavan Clary Fly Fishing, Texas Reel Recovery and Trinity Coalition.
TRWD Flyfest is presented by the Tarrant Regional Water District and made possible thanks to the support of Champion Sponsors Orvis and Coffee & Caddis. Special thanks to in-kind sponsors 95.9 The Ranch, 92.1 Hank FM, 360 West, Trident Restaurant Group, Fort Worth Fly Fishers, Texas Council of Fly Fishers International, Streams & Valleys and Acme Brick. A sincere thank you to the 100+ volunteers who help make this event possible. TRWD appreciates the support of the community for recreation on the Trinity River!
Fresh from the festival
Follow @TRWDFlyfest on social media for more photos and stories from the festival. Be a part of the stream and tag us! TRWD Flyfest is a product of the Tarrant Regional Water District’s Fish-the-Fort program which is an urban fishing initiative aimed to restore our natural environments, re-establish native species, promote stewardship and conservation, educate the community on environmental quality and enhance fishing opportunities.